In an effort to help speed up the development of self-driving vehicles, the Obama administration has announced a plan to spend nearly $4 billion over the next ten years to help fund various autonomous car projects. It goes to show that President Obama is just as excited about driverless cars and their wide range of benefits as everyone else.
Recently, United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx spoke at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. During his speech, Foxx discussed the various benefits that self-driving vehicles can have on the American automotive industry.
Foxx stated, “Automated vehicles open up possibilities for saving lives, saving time and saving fuel.”
The $4 billion in funding is just one part of a greater initiative that was announced by President Obama during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday. President Obama is hopeful that United States automakers will be able to produce a “21st century transportation system” before the rest of the world.
According to a press release from the government, federal officials are planning to unveil a sort of “model state policy” regarding self-driving cars sometime within the next six months. This policy would be the initial step towards creating consistent national guidelines regarding autonomous vehicles.
As things stand right now, regulations regarding self-driving vehicles largely differ between states. California, which is home to many companies experimenting with self-driving technologies, has some of the heaviest restrictions in the country. Many companies have started conducting testing in Austin, TX where there are fewer restriction put in place.
When all is said and done, the White House will spend $3.9 billion in order to conduct pilot programs which will test “connected vehicle systems” across the country. According to federal officials, the autonomous cars will be able to drastically reduce the number of accidents in the country.
Foxx said, “We know that 83 percent of car accidents are due to human error. What happens if human error could be eliminated? That's a powerful possibility, and that's a possibility worth pursuing."
Needless to say, the reality of a self-driving car boom is getting closer and closer.